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Uploading & Setting Up Custom Themes »Child Themes

WordPress.com Business enables you to make many changes to your theme’s appearance using custom CSS and to build upon its default functionality using third-party plugins. If you’d like to go further and make changes to your theme’s underlying code, then you could consider creating a child theme.

What Is a Child Theme?

A child theme is a theme that inherits the functionality and styling of a parent theme.

To use an analogy from Kathryn Presner’s talk on Getting Comfortable with Child Themes: Think of a parent theme as a master recipe for brownies. You could create a child recipe called nutty brownies that inherits all of the ingredients and steps, but with the addition of nuts.

Below you’ll find screenshots of two themes in our repository, Edin and Goran. Goran is a parent theme to Edin, you’ll see that Goran inherits much of Edin’s design and has its own additional customisations.

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Creating a Child Theme

To use child themes with a WordPress.com site, you’ll need to first install WordPress locally on your computer and then follow these steps to create your child theme. After you’ve created your child theme locally, you can then zip it up and upload it to your WordPress.com Business site.

An alternative to manually creating your child theme is to make use of a plugin that will manually create your child theme for you. Search the plugin repository for “child themes” to browse through your available options.

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Support for Your Child Theme

Knowledge of HTML and PHP is needed in order to make changes via a child theme. The WordPress.com support team will be happy to help point you in the right direction or offer alternatives to a child theme (if they exist) but more advanced HTML and PHP falls outside the scope of support we’re able to provide over live chat. If you require more advanced help, you could consider hiring a web designer or contacting your theme’s author directly.

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